by Ryan Burns
Read the press release below:
Humboldt State University is pleased to announce that an agreement in principle has been reached with Redwood Capital Bank that will provide ongoing resources to ensure the future of the Natural History Museum as well as provide a new branch location in Arcata for the Bank.
Under this agreement, Redwood Capital Bank will lease from the University the Museum's existing space, which is located at 1315 G Street in Arcata. In turn, the Museum will move across the street to the former Figueiredo's Video building, which the Bank will give to the University.
Additionally, the Bank has agreed to provide generous financial support to assist with the Museum's operations, as well as logistical assistance to build the Museum's endowment. The Bank will also help promote the Museum and will host exhibits in its new lobby.
"It is important to the Bank and our Board of Directors that this partnership be a mutually beneficial collaboration for all parties involved, which includes the University, the Museum, the Bank and especially our local community," stated John E. Dalby, President & CEO.
"I am so proud to see this partnership become a reality," said HSU President Rollin Richmond. "Ultimately, it means that the Museum is well-positioned to continue doing what it does so well - educate our children and our entire community about the natural environment."
The Natural History Museum opened in 1989, and offers exhibits and programs for students, educators, and the general public to learn about the natural world. In recent years, it has increased its focus on offering programs for elementary school classes, as well as on training future science teachers. Last year, more than 60 elementary school classes took part in Museum programs.
The Museum is currently funded through several grants, private donations, memberships and the University. It struggled with budget challenges in past years, even closing to the public for a short time in 2009.
"This deal provides a long-term commitment to sustain and enhance the financial foundation of the Museum as well as a significant new partnership to support the Museum's mission," said Jeffery White, Executive Director of HSU's Humboldt Science and Mathematics Center, which took over administration of the Museum and re-opened it in 2010.
Garry Eagles, Humboldt County Superintendent of Schools, said he saw strong potential for enhancing the Museum's programs. "The Museum is an important resource for our K-12 schools. This partnership offers the stability the Museum needs, and it opens up strong possibilities for the future."
"I am so happy to see this happening," said Phil Ricord, founder and President/CEO of Wildberries Marketplace. "The Natural History Museum is really wonderful for our community, and I have been proud to be among those who have supported it over the years."
Renovations to both facilities, as well as the complex process of moving the Museum, are expected to be completed this summer.